Guide: Competitor Link Building

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Guide: Competitor Link Building

What is Link Building?

Link Building is an action taken to increase the number of quality inbound links to your business’ webpage. The more quality links built, the increased chance of search engines ranking the page higher in the search results.

How to Identify Your Google Competitors

By using Adwords, you can identify the competition for your PPC campaign. To check on your competitors, log in to AdWords and click on one of your campaigns. Then click on “Details”, and then under “Auction Insights”, click “All.” This will pull up an auction insights report that shows how your campaign is doing compared to other advertisers competing for the same terms. You’ll see a comparison of several factors, including:

  • Impression Share: How often you received an impression in proportion to the number of ads shown for the terms you were competing for.
  • Average Position of Ads: The average position in which your ad was shown.
  • The Overlap Rate for Ads: The number of times your ad was shown alongside competitors.
  • The Position above Rate: How often a competitor’s ads show up above yours.
  • The Top of Page Rate: How often your ad shows up at the top of the page above search results compared to the competition.
  • The Outranking Share: How often an ad showed up above your ad or when your ad didn’t show at all.

Tools for Finding Backlinks

SEO has evolved from the number of backlinks to the quality and relevance of backlinks. However, to monitor your backlinks, you will need tools. There are plenty of premium options available, like SEMRush or AHREFs (the 2 best, IMHO) but if you’re looking for a budget-friendly beginner option, check out tools such as Serpstat, SEO Spyglass, and Ubersuggest.

What is Their Link Building Strategy

Press Releases

Press Releases can be a significant first step in your SEO strategy by attracting attention from both traditional and digital media. Press releases allow you to attract readers with your business’ story. Check out these 11 SEO Tips for Press Releases.


Directories can be a great way to acquire backlinks. Anytime you get your business’ NAP (Name, address and phone number) on the web is suitable for your SEO campaign.

Guest Posts

You can receive some of the best backlinks by writing guest posts to popular blogs. Using Ahrefs Site Explorer, you can find out if your competitors are featuring or writing guest posts for others. Reach out to them, offering to write an article in exchange for a backlink. The worst they could do is say no.

Paid Links

Sometimes paid links are your best/only option. This can come in a variety of forms. You could pay a website owner to post your link or another blogger to feature your article with a link, or you could even use an influencer marketing strategy and send a “free” product to an influencer in exchange for an article and a link. Anytime goods or services are exchanged for a link, know it is a paid link.

Resource Links

Unlike other methods of link building, resource links offer a higher chance of success. This is because resource pages are a lot easier to come by. Plus, the owners of these pages want to use your links (assuming your content is relevant and high quality). By definition, a resource page on a website lists helpful links (resources). A resource page needs links, and you can provide them.

Analyzing Your Competitor’s Backlinks

Often, the best link-building strategy is copying what your competitors are doing. This isn’t cheating. It’s just working more intelligently. Sites like Ahrefs Site Explorer allow you to get an in-depth look at the organic traffic and backlink profile of any website/URL. Plug in your competitor’s URL and do a backlink check and paid and organic traffic research.

Authority Of The Linking Page/Site

Also known as Domain Authority (DA), your site is scored on several factors that determine how well the website will rank in search results.

NoFollow Links

NoFollow Links have an HTML attribute value base to instruct search engine bots that the hyperlink should not influence the target’s ranking in search results. Usually a NoFollow link will appear like this: <a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>

Link Placement

Did you know that where you place links on your webpage matters to search engine bots? It’s true. A link in the middle of an article/webpage will carry more weight than a link in a sidebar or in the page’s footer. The reason for this is simple: Google knows that people can spam links in the footer of a webpage because the eye is not drawn to it. However, not many people will spam links in the middle of their page. It isn’t lovely and takes away from the content. So if a link is put there, Google assumes it must be important.

The Anchor Text

Anchor Text is the name for the clickable text in a hyperlink. The word “Google” in this hyperlink is the anchor text to the link The most important thing to know about anchor text is it should be relevant. The less relevant the anchor text is to the link, the more red flags it will raise when the search engine crawlers rank it.

Link Relevancy

The reason we do SEO is to rank higher. Search engine bots rank certain pages higher because they are more relevant and deduct that they are more in demand. When we remember the big picture, it makes it easier to understand SEO best practices. Link Relevancy is precisely what it sounds like it is. How relevant is the link to your business? It may seem like a quick fix to link to the highest-ranking sites, but is it appropriate for your company? If it isn’t, then it’s doing more harm than good.

Unnatural Links

Just like we mentioned about link relevancy, you must adopt the mindset of a Googlebot to understand why Unnatural Links matter. Google recognizes that people can exploit SEO to rank their pages higher. That’s not to say by reading this blog that you’re trying to manipulate Google’s algorithm. Still, if you’re spamming links with only one goal in mind, ranking higher, there’s a good chance you’ll get flagged for unnatural links.


While implementing new SEO strategies, you must put the consumer first. Are you trying to improve the consumer’s searching experience by providing them value with your product or service? If yes, then you’re doing it correctly. However, if you’re only trying to rank higher and take a shortcut, it could be considered cheating in the guidelines.